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Sacrifice at Sea

December 10, 2012
When I was 12, my cousins arrived to this country for the first time from Vietnam. They were all my age, 12 and 13, and they were sent by their parents to pave the way for the rest of their family to come. What that means is that they were given the responsibility of obtaining an education, getting a job, and then saving enough money to sponsor more family members from Vietnam or to help support family members living in extreme poverty in Vietnam. They were the hope for the future health of our family between two shores separated by a massive body of water. They were part of the wave of “boat...
Jora Trang's picture

When I Cast My Ballot on Election Day, I Voted for Human Rights

December 10, 2012
( Photo Credit : Amnesty International USA) As the challenges facing human rights progress are vast, it is crucially important to acknowledge victories that bring us closer to a world where human rights are a reality for all. The passage of the Maryland Dream Act manifested our belief that education is something that we value, and that immigrant families deserve the same opportunities as everyone else. It was our chance to say 'yes' to an initiative that moved the state of immigrant rights in the United States forward. Yes to the right to education, yes to fairness. When the Maryland Dream...
Jiva Manske's picture

A Hope for DREAM

December 10, 2012
Child advocates have fought for years against the deportation of promising undocumented students. A bill in Congress to recognize them has failed before, but new action on the Hill gives us hope. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or DREAM, Act is a bill to protect from deportation undocumented students who have kept clean records and were brought into the United States when they were very young. It had been proposed and denied for years in Congress, and last year suffered another setback. Recently, Republicans introduced an alternative to the DREAM Act, called the...
Jacquelyn L. Lendsey's picture

South Asians Say It Loud: Fix the Immigration System Now

December 10, 2012
Like so many others in the United States, I am a product of the American immigration system. I was twelve when my mother and brother took a long plane ride from Kerala (India) to Kentucky to join my father. We had been separated for a year from him as he navigated the Immigration and Naturalization Service as it was known at the time, and prepared to bring us over. Bleary-eyed and tired when we arrived, I remember going to our new home, an apartment in the suburbs, and having my first taste of pizza. My immigrant experience was for the most part a privileged and mundane one – especially in...
Deepa Iyer's picture

The POWER Act: Protecting the Most Vulnerable from Corporate Exploitation

December 10, 2012
Immigrant workers across this country face a distinct threat: unscrupulous employers intimidate or retaliate against them if they complain about illegal working conditions. Employers actually have an incentive to recruit foreign workers because they can exploit this vulnerability to underpay and mistreat them. A shipping company called Signal International is a perfect example. In 2006, they lured more than 500 guest workers here from India under the H-2B temporary guest worker program to repair oil rigs after Hurricane Katrina. Workers were promised green cards for themselves and their...
Congresswoman Judy Chu's picture

Still Waiting for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Civil and Human Rights Activists Organize to Fight Anti-Immigrant State Laws

December 10, 2012
There is renewed hope that comprehensive immigration reform will now be possible in Washington, D.C., following the November election that saw Latino and Asian American voters turning out in record numbers. The failure to pass comprehensive reform at the federal level has been a major disappointment made worse by states such as Arizona, Alabama, Georgia, Utah and South Carolina that have passed severe measures aimed at forcing undocumented immigrants and their families to “self deport” by making life unbearable. As The Washington Post reported : Alabama’s law makes it a crime for illegal...
Catherine Han Montoya's picture

Immigrant Integration Means Health, Dignity, and Justice for Immigrant Latinas and Communities

December 10, 2012
It is an understatement to say our current immigration policies and practices hinder, instead of promote, immigrant integration. Aggressive enforcement practices tear families apart and undermine the safety of our communities. Our government’s failure to establish a path to citizenship perpetuates labor exploitation, threatens families’ economic security, and undermines equality of opportunity. Yet in the discussions of immigrant integration and current immigration policies, women’s access to health care, including reproductive health care, is often overlooked. Access to health care must be...
Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas's picture

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Must Include Border Security

December 10, 2012
The Republican Party has to face the changing demographics and needs to do a better job of reaching out to minorities. As Republicans we don’t have to change our philosophy, we just need to have a message that appeals to those minorities and have a better way of delivering that message without the vitriol that has been the norm in the past. Hispanics as well as all demographics are concerned with the current economic crisis and the need for more robust job creation. When Republicans talk about the economy we need to do so in terms that people understand, we need to speak in terms of bread and...
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen's picture

The Fallout of Separating Immigrant Mothers From Their Children

December 10, 2012
Esther has lived through a parent’s worst nightmare, and meeting her several months ago at a shelter for women’s migrants in Tijuana was both devastating and inspiring. She was one of seven women who offered to share their stories with a visiting delegation of women leaders who had traveled across the border to hear about the impact of U.S. immigration laws on women, children and families.Like almost all of the women who currently live at that shelter or have passed through it, Esther had been separated from her daughter as a result of U.S. immigration policies. Five years ago, while she was...
Ai-jen Poo's picture

A Stronger Nation for All: Why I Fight for Comprehensive Immigration Reform in Congress

December 10, 2012
Para español, haga clic aquí . The 2012 elections marked a pivotal point in our nation’s history: Latino voters represented a record 10 percent of the electorate and voted overwhelmingly in support of President Obama, as did a vast majority of Asian and African American voters. The voices of Hispanic Americans and other racial and ethnic minorities were heard loud and clear as we collectively ushered in a President who supports comprehensive immigration reform and rejected a candidate who promoted “self-deportation” and promised to veto the DREAM Act. The 2012 Presidential election was, in...
Senator Robert Menendez's picture